By Luana Mattos, Guest Blogger
When Rion Paige first stepped onto The X Factor stage to sing her version of "Blown Away," she blew everyone away with her performance and undeniable talent. Born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, a rare disorder that causes a curving of the joints, Rion has always found ways to adapt, never letting anything get in her way of reaching for the stars.
When and how did you become interested in music?
When I was about 3 years old I started singing Dixie Chicks in my car seat. I started singing karaoke in our hometown of Jacksonville, Florida when I was about five. There I really learned my love for music and performing. Ever since then I started singing at local festivals and events. I loved being on stage at a young age, and I wanted to take every opportunity that was given to me. When I was watching the season finale of the Xfactor USA, I saw they are having auditions in Charleston, South Carolina which wasn't too far away from us. We ended up traveling there and I made it! It was a crazy whirlwind and experience and something unforgettable.
How would you define your music style? And who are your musical influences?
I would classify myself as a country music singer. Some of my influences are The Dixie Chicks, One Republic, Hunter Hayes, and Carrie Underwood.
As a young artist you must get a lot of advice from other artists and coaches. What piece of advice changed your life?
I have to say the advice I have gotten in my life that changed my perspective on singing was to connect with the song. I believe this is one of the most important aspects of singing because if you can relate to a song the audience can feel it.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully to be inspiring young girls and women to feel comfortable in their own skin through my music.
For many reasons you are certainly THAT GIRL, but who is THAT GIRL in your life? Who's your biggest female influence and why?
I would have to say THAT GIRL definitely is my Mom, she has always cheered me on to follow my dreams. She inspires me to be who I am and not anyone one else.
The IATG community promotes collaboration over competition; in a competitive world as the entertainment industry what do you believe the girls can do to balance that?
For girls to understand that who they surround themselves with matters, so that way you can learn from their strengths, you don't have to define yourself by what others say. To honestly know that who you are as valuable no matter what the score or a vote might say.
Being in the spotlight brings many fans but, unfortunately, also haters. How do you deal with the negative comments?
To deal with negative comments, usually I just tell myself truth. For example I say that I'm inspiring others, and chasing my dream with all of my heart, and I can't control someone else's opinions.
IATG inspires girls to follow their passion, and you are definitely following yours. What advice would you give to the girls that want to pursue a music career?
Believe that anything is possible and always trust the process. OWN IT!!!! Xo~Rion Paige
After only a few months in Nashville, Rion has landed a production deal with David Huff, one of Nashville's top record producers (The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town). She is currently in the studio recording this project, writing with some of Nashville's finest songwriters, and will have some of her own songs on the record. Her team anticipates a summer release and a tour to follow.
Let's Chat! Who is your favorite artist who is THAT GIRL? How does she exemplify I AM THAT GIRL values? Tell us here!
Luana is Christian girl whose faith inspires her to be the best version of herself every day. Besides her work as an administrative supervisor, she is a freelance journalist and writes a column about real life experiences, focusing on topics relevant to social projects, volunteer work, and awareness campaigns for the Brazilian website www.hollywoodeaqui.com. She also had the opportunity to interview Nicholas Sparks, Wm. Paul Young and L. J. Smith.